Fake journalist arrested in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: Waqar Haneef thought journalists were above the law. So obsessed was he with their influence that he decided to impersonate as one to make money.
To Haneef’s surprise, however, he landed in police lock-up, but not before depriving dozens of people of millions of rupees.
It all began when the administration of a private news channel lodged a complaint with the Kohsar police against Haneef for using the organisation’s name to defraud people.
Haneef was posing as director programming of the channel and taking money from people, tempting them with jobs and visas to foreign countries with the help of his ‘influence’.
Police began to track the fake journalist by using the simple means of calling him on his given phone number. When contacted, Haneef told a police officer that he was busy arranging an interview with Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad.
The officer insisted on a meeting to discuss a story with him and a personal matter. After keeping the police waiting for two days on the pretext of being busy with the interview, Haneef showed up at the police station.
Introducing himself as director programming, he gave police officials his visiting card bearing his name and designation. The suspect was also wearing an official identity card of the news organisation.
“The card was almost identical to the real card of the channel’s employees. The employee code was also found to be genuine, belonging to some former employee of the organisation. There were only minor changes,” said a police official.
Once in the police station, Haneef was surprised to know that he was being arrested on the complaints lodged against him by the news channel.
For a very long time during interrogation, he remained adamant that he was a journalist. Going back against his previous stance of being director planning, he said he was incharge of the camera section.
Later, admitting he had printed fake cards, Haneef maintained he was a cameraman, said a police official.
Police received confirmation from the news organisation that they had no employee of his name and that the person was an impostor.